Easily one of the most-discounted aspects of your home, gutters actually play a HUGE role in the health of your home’s foundation. While we may think they are only there so we don’t get wet as we walk outside in the rain (say that again, slowly), they serve a much higher purpose. And although it is convenient not to hit a sheet of water as you run to your car, that annoying water means so much more to your foundation.
Knowing the Facts
In 1,000 Square Feet of roof space, your roof produces an average of 600 Gallons of water per One inch of rain. With the average footprint of a home being 1,500 Square Feet, that is, on average, 900 Gallons of water produced by the average roof in every inch of rain.
So far in May of 2020, we have gotten over 9” of rain. Quick Math gives us a total of 8,100 Gallons of water produced from storms on the average roof. That’s 162 50-gallon barrels dumped next to your home’s foundation.
Now, let’s assume everyone has been to the beach and built a sandcastle. While they are obviously built with different materials, the point of water affecting the foundations is still relevant. Go out and build a beautiful sandcastle. Then take a bucket or two of water and pour it next to the highest wall. What happens? A hole in the sand forms as the water washes sand away, sand that was holding the bottom of the wall up. Hole gets big enough, wall collapses.
This same process happens, over a longer period of time, with your home’s foundation.
The major issue with the gutter water washing away the dirt is obvious. And while your home’s walls are made of concrete and not sand, they will still fall. Washed out dirt under the foundation will create gaps and allow the concrete to settle into those gaps. Some signs that this may be happening to your home are:
- Large cracks in your foundation
- Drywall cracking, commonly found at doors/windows
- Windows/Doors Sticking
- Uneven floors
As the foundation starts to settle, it starts to literally pull the house apart. Our homes were not meant to be flexible. The repairs can be extensive, and many times could have been prevented if the gutters were properly extended. Problem is, once you have a problem you need to fix it.
Read more about – Reasons to Use Carbon Fiber for Foundation Repairs
You don’t have to wait until the worst happens to protect yourself. As with anything else, preventative is the best medicine. Keeping your home healthy and away from danger will help prevent you from having to do extensive repairs. Below are some good tips on how to do this:
- Extend and bury your gutters!!
- REGARDLESS of what your village says. Some villages have enacted HARMFUL laws that only allow gutters to be extended 3-5 feet. That is INSANE!!! It is DESTROYING foundations and every homeowner who lives under a township with these laws should immediately call their Department of Buildings.
- Extend your Discharge Lines for Sump Pumps
- Same side point. Some villages enact harmful laws preventing you from extending this water from your home. Call and complain! This is DIRECTLY harming your foundation and WILL cause thousands of dollars in repairs.
- Grade the dirt away from the home
- Water gathering around your foundation is no good. Use landscaping, French Drains, and grading to keep the water from pooling next to your home.
All simple things you can do that will save you THOUSANDS in repairs down the line. Gutters are immensely important and need to be handled, on EVERY home.
Thanks for reading, and as always:
“Not Everything’s Better When Wet”